Algeria, Italy to strengthen cooperation in various fields: joint statement

by IANS |

Algiers, Nov 7 (IANS) Algeria and Italy will strengthen cooperation in various fields, according to a joint statement made by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his visiting Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella.

During a signing ceremony of partnership agreements between the two countries in the fields of justice, education and culture, Tebboune on Saturday said he expected Italy to help Algeria develop its small and medium-sized industry platform.

For his part, Mattarella said he looked forward to developing their cooperation, adding the forthcoming high-level Intergovernmental Committee will be an opportunity to reinforce their bilateral partnership, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Italian President added that Italy encourages Europe to invest more in the southern Mediterranean region, given that it is a doorway for partnership with the African continent, and "Algeria is a key element in this context."

Mattarella began on Saturday a two-day visit to Algeria to boost cooperation, notably in the economic field. The visit provides an opportunity for Italy and Algeria to discuss political and economic issues of common interest, as part of the strategic relations between the two countries.

In the energy sector, Algeria feeds 40 per cent of Italian natural gas need through the 1,200-km-long gas pipeline linking the two countries. Bilateral trade in the first half of 2021 hit $5.9 billion, of which $4.2 billion were Algerian exports to Italy, according to the official figures. As many as 384 Italian companies are investing in different fields in Algeria, including construction, manufacturing, mining, and engineering.

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